Tuesday, July 05, 2005

For shame...for the good?

*sigh* You know those times when it seems like you just can't win? Those times when you can't seem to keep your tongue in check, though you desperately wish you could? Those times when even those comments you mean as complimented seem to cut others down like a double-edged sword? *sigh* I'm having one of those, today...*shakes head in disgust*

Allow me to explain what I mean, though I whole-heartedly believe most everyone can already relate.

I come home from a long day at work...we're talking a long, hot, tiring, crazy busy, wipes you out entirely kind of day...Anyway, I find myself lounging about in the kitchen having what I thought to be a casual conversation with my mother...I'll admit, it was a bit tense, and when my oldest younger sister came in, my light-hearted joking came across as harsh, judgemental jabs...Things seemed to only get worse from there. My youngest sister and I just couldn't seem to have a civil conversation...I was frustrating myself more than anyone else was...I mean, I didn't want to be mean to my sisters...why was I acting like that? but then, the self-rightousness started seeping into my thoughts and corrupting me...I kept thinking, "Gosh, why is she acting like that? Sure, I'm not being the easiest to get along with, but I've been at work all day...besides, I thought I taught her better than that." Maybe not everyone thinks such things when frustrated...perhaps, it's just me...regardless, it was a pretty disgusting attitude, and I can't believe I donned it.

So, what shook me out of it? You know, if I hadn't experienced it myself, I would think I was just making up crazy "uplifting" stories just to encourage people...but I tell you what...if you really think about it, you'll realize that most people don't really care to relate how they were humbled...so, why would someone make up such a tale? That's right...they wouldn't...(If you still don't believe me, fine...but...well...just 'cause you don't believe something doesn't make it any less true.)

I was feeling so crummy...and kind of lonely...I figured that my bad attitude was probably working as a friend repellant. However, I have adopted the belief that when I am lonely, it's actually the feeling of God calling me back to Him. So, in an attempt to dispel my crabbiness, I opened up my Bible. I didn't know where to turn, really...I wasn't feeling very...penitent...so, I think I was avoiding most of the verses I needed to see...so, I started flipping through Soul Sister by Beth Redman. I'm using the book for the girls' ministry that I'm leading, and I figured maybe I could kill two birds with one stone by using one of the verses I needed to be familiarized with for Sunday to launch my quiet time. We're supposed to be discussing identity and self-worth on Sunday. So, naturally, I was lead to Romans 12:2, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." I had every intention of using this verse as a foundation for our discussion of modesty...discussing how we shouldn't get caught up in trying to pursue the world's idea of beauty, trying to follow all the trends and look like some ultra-thin model...I knew there was so much more to it, but we won't have forever to talk, you know...*rolls eyes at own stupidity*...I found this kool article on Christianity.com discussing that very thing, and as I returned to the homepage, the verse of the day caught my eye...Proverbs 12:18, "There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health."

It was one of those, "Oh, my gosh I'm an idiot" moments...I sat there feeling so small...I had cut my sister with my words and then spent my time thinking about how I could help her get on the "straight and narrow", living a godly life...*shakes head*...maybe, I should just try setting a better example for her for starters, eh? Who am I to be talking with these girls? There's so much I don't know...so many mistakes that I make...I have so much to be ashamed of...dwelling in my own pitiful shame, I returned to my book...I was directed to John 8:32 "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." I sat there thinking...or maybe I was sulking because I had been scolded...in any case, I thought, "the truth is that bad things happen because I'm an idiot...(a quote from That 70's Show...sorry) What's that going to set me free from?" (I told you, I was in a pretty sour mood.) I had closed my Bible in frustration, and upon reopening it, I attempted to find that verse again. However, I couldn't remember the numbers and ended up looking at John 8:15, which read, "Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man." I was like, "What? God's not going to pass judgement on my selfishness and rash behavior?" (I can be pretty dense when I'm grumpy.) I remembered that the reason I had found the wrong verse if because I was thinking of Romans 8:15...however, before I found it (despite the fact that I have it underlined in my Bible), my eye came across Romans 8:1, "There is therefore no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." I must admit, I was a bit taken aback...I was trying to live a godly life...a life of the Spirit...I was intrigued by Paul's words, to say the least...So, I read on..."For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness fo the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh , but after the Spirit...(not skipping verses because they aren't important...just mentioning those that hit me hardest...please, read the whole passage, Romans 8:1-17, sometime...it's awesome)...But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness...For ye hove not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together."

The truth of the matter is that God has forgiven me entirely because Jesus signed off on all of my sins, already. Duh! Being a girl of God means living it, not just looking the part. Duh!

Praise be to God for clarity through His Holy Spirit.



Always_Adventuring said...

I've created a blogging project called "50 U.S. Blogs" and have linked to your blog. If this is a problem, leave a comment on my blog letting me know and I'll find another blog to put there to represent your state. Be sure to visit your state and any others that interest you, maybe you'll find a new blog to read. Thanks for your support! Happy Blogging!

Always_Adventuring said...

As I previously shared with you, your blog was selected randomly to represent your state in my blog project "50 U.S. Blogs". The project is in the process of being expanded and I'm writing to share another invitation with you. I'd like to do a weekly focus on each state, starting with Alabama, and have each blog owner share about their state and their life, whether it be personal experiences, anecdotes, facts, or links to important areas in their state. In an effort to get that started, and to make the process easier, I need to first collect everyone's email address and determine their willingness to participate. Of course, authors are allowed to decline participation but that means I need to seek another blog to represent their state, as I must continue to treat each blog the same to avoid an issue with favoritism. Please email me from your personal email address where you with to receive correspondence related to this project and express your desire to participate or not. My email address is alwaysadventuring@gmail.com. Thank you very much for your support. Happy Blogging!